Panoramic optical mapping shows wavebreak at a consistent anatomical site at the onset of ventricular fibrillation

Academic Article


  • Aims The first seconds of ventricular fibrillation (VF) are well organized and can consist of just one to two rotating waves (rotors). New rotors are spawned when local propagation block causes wave fragmentation. We hypothesized that this process, which leads to fully developed VF, begins at a consistent anatomic site. Methods and results We initiated VF with a stimulus timed to the local T-wave in 10 isolated pig hearts. Hearts were stained with a voltage-sensitive dye and four video cameras recorded electrical propagation panoramically across the epicardium. In each VF episode, we identified the position of the first wavebreak event that produced new rotor(s) that persisted for at least one cycle. The first such wavebreak occurred along the anterior right ventricular insertion (ARVI) in 26 of 32 VF episodes. In these episodes, wavebreak sites were 6 ± 4 mm from the midline of the ARVI. In the remaining 6 episodes, wavebreak sites were 24 ± 5 mm from the midline on either the LV or RV. During rapid pacing, conduction speed was locally depressed at the ARVI when waves crossed parallel to the midline. Action potential duration (APD) was slightly longer (2.2 ± 2.1 ms) at the ARVI compared with other sites (P< 0.01). Temporal APD alternans were small and not unique to the break site, suggesting that dynamic APD properties were not the cause of wavebreak. Conclusion The ARVI is the dominant site for wavebreak at the onset of VF in normal myocardium. This may be due to the anatomic complexity of the region. © 2011 The Author.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bourgeois EB; Reeves HD; Walcott GP; Rogers JM
  • Start Page

  • 272
  • End Page

  • 279
  • Volume

  • 93
  • Issue

  • 2